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Top Belgian Cancer Center Becomes First in Country to Introduce RapidArc Radiotherapy Treatments From Varian Medical Systems
Date:2/2/2009

LEUVEN, Belgium, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A 74-year-old prostate cancer patient has become the first person in Belgium to be treated using a new, faster form of radiotherapy that extends more advanced care to more patients. The University Hospital of Leuven delivered the faster treatment using RapidArc radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR).

The patient, a retired military aircraft engineer from Kortenberg near Leuven, said he was pleased to be the country's first to receive this advanced form of image-guided intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). By coincidence, his older brother was also treated for prostate cancer at the hospital two years ago, receiving a successful course of conventional IMRT.

"This patient is now feeling very well and he is very proud of being number one in Belgium," says Dr. Karin Haustermans, head of the Department of Oncology. "We are identifying patients for whom RapidArc is a beneficial treatment and we have been very pleased with the early results. Not everyone will be treated in this way but it appears to have major advantages in speed and precision for many of our prostate cancer patients."

Frank Van den Heuvel, director of physics, believes RapidArc will enable the hospital to bring down standard treatment slots from 12 minutes to ten minutes, enabling six patients to be treated per hour rather than five. "This is an entirely new technique for us so early treatments will inevitably take a little longer but once it becomes a part of our routine I believe we can achieve these targets," he said.

Prior to starting RapidArc treatments, research physicist Wouter Crijns carried out a series of tests revealing that RapidArc treatments could offer five significant benefits over and above conventional IMRT treatments. Along wi
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems
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